Date of Award:

1993

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Brent C. Miller

Abstract

Adolescent sexual intercourse can be viewed as a normal developmental experience, but intercourse also is linked to unplanned pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Consequently, there continues to be a high level of scientific interest in understanding antecedents of adolescent sexual behavior, especially early and more risky sexual intercourse. This study examined several key antecedents of adolescent sexual intentions and behavior, including pubertal development (pubertal status, change over time, and pubertal timing). parent/teen communication, and teen sexual values. Analyses were based on longitudinal data collected in 1991, 1992, and 1993 from parents and teens during the FACTS & feelings project conducted within three areas in northern Utah.

Regression and path analyses were used to test the direct and indirect effects among the variables. Parent/teen communication quality had a significant positive effect on teen sexual abstinent values for both males and females. Sexual abstinent values had a strong negative effect on sexual intentions for both males and females. Sexual values were more strongly related to sexual behavior for females than for males. Sexual intentions had a significant effect on sexual behaviors for both males and females, although this effect was stronger for males than for females. Pubertal timing had a significant effect on behaviors for males and a smaller although significant effect for females Age also had a significant positive effect for both male and female adolescents. Overall, within these analyses, females were more influenced by values which directly and indirectly affect sexual behaviors. Males were more influenced by the FACTS & feelings treatment, pubertal timing, and sexual intentions.

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